I am beginning Digital Stories.ca as a way to connect with people who want to tell a digital story and also, with digital storytelling practitioners. My vision: Digital Stories.ca is a mobile production studio and exhibition site for Canadian digital stories, an art-centred resource for digital storytellers globally, and an organization offering face-to-face workshops using a powerful digital storytelling process.
This week, I am working on two stories for the site. The first is an audio creation – I am purposefully beginning with audio so that we can break with “Digital Storytelling” conventions from the first day. Years ago, I learned a few simple Mindful Meditation techniques while attending a support group for people who were experiencing depression and/or anxiety. For me, taking these breaks from the usual ways of being in the world actually do support my wellness. These guided meditations are often presented in the oral tradition and have a narrative arc. The genre has conventions.
Recently while waiting for an appointment, I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing in a mindful way as I had learned to do in the workshop. An idea for a new guided meditation script came to me so when I returned home, I recorded the voice-over and made a first rough edit of a short guided mediation.
I wanted to create a quick recording that people (like me) could use as a five-minute sanity boost. So many of the online meditations are 15 minutes or longer. Sadly, the feedback from a friend who heard my first rough edit was that I didn’t leave enough time to breathe. Ah ha and of course! Stay tuned for the second version, coming soon to Digital Stories.ca. I am actively researching the guided meditation genre by listening to one or more recordings per day. Finally, my PhD in Interactive Arts & Technology is paying off as I certainly know how to conduct research.
The second digital story began when someone attempting to re-enter the labour force interviewed me about current employment prospects for video editors. She told me a really interesting story about her mother’s connection to the famed Group of Seven painters and the time they spent at Agawa Canyon in Northern Ontario. In talking to friends and relatives, I realized that many older Canadians have family stories about the Group of Seven painters. To begin her digital story, the filmmaker had a large number of family photos and older DV format video taken during one last train trip with mother. Videos featuring trains (sounds and movement) are irresistible and so, we have started to collaborate on her story. The featured photo is her mother riding the train to Agawa Canyon.